Mozilla Releases Alpha of Next Firefox

Mozilla Corp. has released the first preview of Firefox 3.1, the fast-track update that the open-source company has pegged with a late 2008 or early 2009 ship date. Code-named "Shiretoko," named for a national park on Japan's northern-most island of Hokkaido, Firefox 3.1 Alpha 1 was delayed several days because of a last-minute bug found in the Mac OS X version.

Firefox 3.1 Alpha 1 includes some, but not all, of the features Mozilla hopes to add to the update as work continues. Among the noticeable changes: several improvements to the address bar, which Mozilla dubs the "Smart Location Bar" in recognition of the search enhancements it received in Firefox 3.0; and changes to tab-switching.

Pressing Ctrl-Tab in Alpha 1 switches between current and last-viewed tabs rather than simply moving to the next tab to the right. Thumbnails of each page are also now displayed for easier recognition. Like many of the features slated for Firefox 3.1, the revised tab-switching was originally meant to be included with Firefox 3.0, but had been dropped during development to keep that June version on schedule.

View: Full Article @ PC World

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I hope there'll either be an option or an addon that converts back to the old ctrl+tab behaviour, it's the only annoying
thing i've seen in a Firefox release so far besides the removal of the buttons from find-as-you-type (Thankfully theres
an add-on that puts them back in :)).

search in about:config and change the pref that has somethign to do with most recently used or MRU to 0. That sets it back to the old way.

I don't see why they'd want to change the ctrl+tab behavior. I love ctrl+tab for forward, ctrl+shift+tab for back. It works really well for me.

I'm glad it's easy to change back.

(ermax said @ #7.1)
It gets to 83 on Acid3.

Thanks for the info!

Not a bad jump considering this is a feature-incomplete, early alpha.

lightweight O/S's and apps

Erm hello Firefox is one of the lightest of all browsers, a bit liter than browsers like Safari and alot more lightweight than Internet Explorer.

I hate to say this, but Firefox (3.x ) is becoming a Vista like monster. All the easy configuration files are being migrated to multiple database files, which seem to expand and spread everywhere. It seems to me that the whole PC model of computing has become an over complex mess of spaghetti code being turned into spaghetti programs (all over the hard disk). Will this model end? We only have one planet, with finite growth potential, the computing industry need to recognise this and make lightweight O/S's and apps (IMO).

I'm tempted to agree with Glendi - all the preferences etc are still in good old JS files. What is in databases are things that need to be fast - the awesomebar, for instance, should be an instantly-available resource, not waiting several seconds for it to appear. This type of speed can only really be achieved with non-human-readable databases.

I'm running Alpha 1 as my default browser because it's so stable, it has no known issues for Windows, that means they've fixed all the bugs hat were in 3.0.1

And the most important new features, is enhanced CSS support, more CSS3 selectors, support for text-shadow and box-shadow, word-wrap, border-image, etc.

Lets hope it gets @font-face and SMIL support by the time it hits final.

And built-in theora/ogg support for audio/video streams, and with any luck tracemonkey should land for 3.1 which will give the javascript engine a serious kick up the ass speed-wise and may well require a new test suite to measure JS engine performance (seriously, some of the sunspider tests become so fast they're basically meaningless)

(Cryton said @ #2.1)
And built-in theora/ogg support for audio/video streams, and with any luck tracemonkey should land for 3.1 which will give the javascript engine a serious kick up the ass speed-wise and may well require a new test suite to measure JS engine performance (seriously, some of the sunspider tests become so fast they're basically meaningless)
Ogg support landed a day or two after the code was cut for 3.1a1. Which is now working great in today's nightly now that the crashers/memory leaks have been fixed.